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Rise in children contracting sexually-transmitted diseases

19 May 2009

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The number of under-16s in England contracting sexually-transmitted diseases rose by 58%, from 2,474 to 3,913, in the four years from 2003 to 2007.

According to government figures, Chlamydia, the most common, was up by 90%, genital herpes by 42% and genital warts by a third. Cases of syphilis doubled from three to six.

The apparent increase is due to the introduction of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP), which has been holding testing sessions in community contraceptive clinics, according to health officials.

It has also extended its reach into a number of colleges of further education, while making testing kits available through the post and in pharmacies.

The figures, from Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics and the NCSP, were given in a House of Commons written answer to Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb.

Says a Department of Health spokesman: “The NCSP has helped us to screen an increasing number of people for chlamydia. Since 2008, all primary care trusts have been reporting to the programme, which accounts for the recent increase in reported cases.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

National Chlamydia Screening Programme